The 20th Century Fox CinemaCon presentation showed off Aliens, Apes and lots more!
The 20th Century Fox CinemaCon presentation opened Thursday in Las Vegas with a bit of flair, offering an opening song and dance routine performed by the light-up dance troupe iLuminate. Because much of the performance spectacle relies on the balance of light and darkness, the studio pulled a clever gag by invisibly swapping out the lead dancer at the last moment with the studio’s head of distribution, Chris Aronson (or, perhaps, Mr. Aronson is an incredible dancer in addition to being an executive). Aronson then introduced the trailer for the animated adventure Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. You can click here to watch the Captain Underpants trailer yourself.
The Fox CinemaCon stage was then passed to studio President Stacey Snider who, in turn, introduced Snatched stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. While the clip itself wasn’t showcased at the presentation, Fox timed the online debut of a new Snatched clip to arrive as the CinemaCon crowd was treated to an extended look at the R-rated adventure comedy.
Next, Fox showcased trailer for two new films: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and The Mountain Between Us. You can watch the Diary of a Wimpy Kid trailer right here, but the latter video has not yet made its way online. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, the film stars adapts Charles Martin‘s 2010 novel with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet starring as a pair of strangers who, upon sharing a small prop plane, wind up crash landing in the High Uintas wilderness. There, they are forced to survive in the unforgiving cold with any hope of rescue slowly fading.
War for the Planet of the Apes was next in the Fox CinemaCon presentation and, in addition to the new Apes trailer, congoers were treated to an extended sequence from the July 14 release.
Caesar, alongside fellow chimpanzee Rocket, the orangutan Maurice, and the gorilla, Luca, have climbed to the top of a utility pole in a snowy western town. At the base of the pole are several horses, with a young girl sitting atop one of them, playing with a doll. Quietly, a stranger approaches. We can’t see his face, only the back of a hooded parka as the figure makes his way to the horses. Sneaking around to a saddle bag on the opposite side from where the girl is sitting, the figure begins to quietly rummage through the bag. When he drops a flashlight, he freezes, worried the girl heard him. She didn’t, but someone else did. From overhead, Luca looks down and roars!
The stranger immediately leaps onto the horse and takes off through the wood. Caesar and friends descend the pole and mount up on horseback themselves, taking off in hot pursuit of the stranger. There’s an impressive horse chase sequence through some snowy woods and up alongside an abandoned ski lift. Caesar and his team (which seems to include the little girl) arrive at an abandoned building. Caesar and the apes get off the horses and, armed with guns, approach the structure. They’re signing to one another using ASL and staying as quietly as possible as they approach the chimney. Someone is hiding inside.
The stranger in the parka steps out. It’s not a man, but rather an ape. He’s a chimp, smaller than Caesar and a face that none of the others recognize.
“Bad ape,” it says, pointing to itself. This is a new character played by Steve Zahn.
“He’s not one of us,” Maurice signs. The bad ape doesn’t understand ASL.
“Cold,” says the bad ape, taking off the parka and giving it to the girl. He says that he’s been living here alone for a long time. He has a toy alligator with a zoo logo stamped on it. That’s where he came from.
“Humans got sick,” he says, “and apes got smart.”
The familiar group of apes is astonished. They had no idea that there were other smart apes out there. They question the bad ape and learn about another group of humans.
“Soldiers,” Caesar asks. The bad ape nods and grows terrified when Caesar wants him to lead the way. In fact, he’s so reluctant to go that he’s willing to give the little girl a piece of shiny metal she has been eyeing. It’s part of an old Chevrolet and pays homage to a classic Planet of the Apes character as the little girl clutches a logo that reads “NOVA.”
The Fox CinemaCon presentation continued with a first look at Red Sparrow, the new thriller that reteams Jennifer Lawrence with The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. Based on the book by Jason Matthews, the contemporary espionage tale follows a Russian dancer (Lawrence) who, after an injury to her leg, is recruited into a top secret spy program where it is promised they can “make her special again.”
“People cannot survive without something larger than themselves to submit to,” she is told. “In this case, Mother Russia.”
Joel Edgerton (The Gift, Loving) co-stars in November 10 release.
Next up, the Fox CinemaCon panel gave us a first look at Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In a new Red Band trailer, Taron Egerton’s Eggsy is seen, now a full agent, driving a specially-armored spy car.
“Permission to blow these f–ers away?” he asks Mark Strong’s Merlin over a radio.
At first he’s told not to, but he’s finally given a yes and rockets shoot out his car, utterly destroying the vehicles pursuing him.
We hear about an “underground institution” called “The Golden Circle.” Members can be identified by circular tattoos that are actually filled in with real gold. Someone, the Golden Circle is tied to the destruction of Kingsman headquarters. We see the shop from the original getting blown up and then Merlin and Eggsy enacting a backup plan. They are to go a special safe but, when it’s opened, all it reveals is a bottle of whiskey. They sit and drink and, upon seeing the distiller’s label, decide to head to Kentucky. It is there that they encounter the Statesman headquarters. The American branch of Kingsman, Statesman officers include cowboy characters played by Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges and Tatum especially received a lot of laughs from the CinemaCon crowd. We see one of his spy weapons is a sort of laser lasso, which we see being used to slice through someone’s limbs like a hot knife through butter. Other trailer flashes included a robot dog attacking Eggsy in a bowling alley and some sort of robotic mannequin with a gun.
“It’s very American,” Eggsy says in the final shot, looking a little displeased with Tatum’s character.
Tatum’s character just gets a big smile.
“F– yeah!” he shouts.
The Fox CinemaCon presentation then continued with a first look at the studio’s Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder on the Orient Express. Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as world famous detective Hercules Poirot, the ensemble cast of suspects includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton, Sir Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Sergei Polunin and Willem Dafoe.
Orient Express appears to be a faithful adaptation of the 1934 book with a somewhat contemporary sheen. At one point set against Imagine Dragons‘ “Believer,” a camera pushes through a dining car and each of the cast is given a on-screen title (“The Governess,” “The Missionary,” “The Widow,” etc) as they offer their own alibis and explanations. This is very much a character-driven, costume-heavy film, and it looks to pair quite well with a wide assembly of acting talent.
Branagh’s own character isn’t revealed until the final shot when he responds to someone who asked who he is.
“I’m Hercules Poirot,” he says, “and I’m probably the greatest detective in the world.”
Alien: Covenant was next with a special video message from Ridley Scott.
“I hope you enjoy,” he said, “and I hope it scares the s–t out of you.”
The footage begins on what looks to be the engineer homeworld. Thousands of them are gathered in a central area, looking up at the spaceship descending from the sky. Aboard is Michael Fassbender’s David. He presses a control panel and thousands of the Prometheus black goo containers fall from the sky. Like a plague of locusts, the engineers are devoured alive as David watches, his eyes looking as though he’s about to cry.
There were flashes of the Covenant crew and we hear David’s plans for the colony ship.
“They don’t deserve to start again,” he says, “and I’m not going to let them.”
Lots of interesting footage flashed by, including some human/xenomorph hybrids and a classic-looking alien egg that David seems to refer to as his own creation.
Look for the Ridley Scott film to hit the big screen May 19.
John Cena then took the stage to introduce the trailer for the Blue Sky Studios-animated feature Ferdinand. Based on the classic children’s book, the film hits theaters December 15. You can watch the Ferdinand trailer yourself right here.
The Fox CinemaCon presentation drew to a close with Hugh Jackman taking the stage to introduce his upcoming musical, The Greatest Showman. Boasting music by La La Land‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the P.T. Barnum biopic also stars Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya.
You can check out our Facebook Live reaction to the Fox CinemaCon panel in the player below: